This is the fourth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.
The forest is still slowly chasing this end of the street, but they’re at a city, no mistake, and not much walking will put them in it well and proper. The air here is a dingy wet rag that was used to overscrub the buildings and then wrung out. It smells of dirt with experience. The concrete in the sidewalk is so grainy and crumbly it must be gluten-free, but it supports as much weight as it has to. The doors look well kicked, the walls well leaned on. But the people are too busy living their lives to be picturesque. Frank is following one down the street. One is a vision: a squirt of squid ink swirling in the viscous atmosphere. Frank, by contrast, is pale putty in Ralph Lauren cotton and muddy Rockports.
Whatever part of town this is, whatever town at all, Frank does not recognize it. On the other hand, it’s a dull walk of an obtuse part of an hour to get to this shoe store, so Frank can’t see how it could be a dream: at least in those the boring trips are shortcut. This has much newness, or — oldness, to it to keep Frank vaguely diverted: it’s not as though he k— all this was here and is re—ing his acquaintance.
Damn. The synonym trick was going so well. Is this a curse for his constant quest for —ness? For…
The shoe store is not a — store. It is old and it is in an aged building on an experienced street. It does repairs, too. It has a sign:
Ah. Continue reading